- The number of mountaintop removal, steep slope and surface mines exporting coal from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Virginia increased from 73 mines in 2008 to 97 in 2011.
- Coal exports from these mines in these four states have grown by 91 percent since 2009 to 13.2 million tons in 2011.
- 25 of those mines exported more than half of their production in 2011. One Russian company is exporting nearly 83 percent of the coal from three mines in West Virginia, and five mines are shipping 100 percent of their coal abroad.
- Overall, these 97 mines exported 27 percent of their production in 2011, more than doubling from 13 percent exported in 2008.
Rep. Markey, the Ranking Member of the Natural Resources Committee said, "American families are being subjected to coal mine pollution and damage, just so exports to China and other foreign nations can increase. The coal may be shipped to foreign markets, but the diseases, the destroyed mountaintops, and the environmental ruin from these destructive practices are staying right here in America."
Rep. Markey indicated in a release that, "The report comes as Republicans and the coal industry are attempting to beat back safeguards that would protect communities from coal mining pollution, including a hearing held today [see below] by the Natural Resources Republicans to attack rules that would protect streams and drinking water from mining operation pollution." He also indicated that the export issue is not isolated in the Appalachian region, as coal companies mining in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming are angling to vastly increase coal exports.
The House Natural Resources Committee received testimony from the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) Director Joseph Pizarchik at a Committee oversight hearing on the status of the Department of the Interior's (DOI's) rewrite of a 2008 coal regulation which Republicans said "could cost thousands of jobs and economic harm in 22 states, as well as the failure of the Department to respond to Congressional subpoenas for documents on the rewrite."
Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) said, "The Committee expects answers at this hearing. The Department has largely stonewalled the Committee's investigation into the Administration's highly unorthodox and questionable rulemaking process that could leave thousands of hardworking Americans unemployed. Director Pizarchik should be prepared to fully and completely answer questions regarding the Department's refusal to comply with the two subpoenas for documents, the current status of the rulemaking, and the Department's failure to abide by its voluntary court settlement agreement to complete the rule rewrite by the end of last month."
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